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Paired exchange programs offer a route to kidney transplantation to patients whose donors are incompatible with them. This happens when the donor and recipient have incompatible blood types or when the recipient has made antibodies to the donor’s HLA antigens (also called the donor’s “tissue type”). An exchange between two incompatible pairs is possible when the donor of each pair is compatible with the recipient of the other pair and all parties agree to participate in the exchange.

The diagram below shows a possible exchange scenario. The mother in the first pair wishes to donate to her son, but they are incompatible. The husband in the second pair wishes to donate to his wife, but he is incompatible with her. However, the mother in the first pair is compatible with the wife in the second pair, while the husband in the second pair is compatible with the son in the first pair. If all involved agree, transplantation between the two compatible pairs may proceed.kidney transplant chart

Lahey Hospital & Medical Center participates in:

Additional information may be obtained from your coordinator.

Lahey also offers a desensitization program to patients with high levels of antibodies to HLA antigens that are reducing their ability to find a compatible kidney. Various strategies are utilized to reduce the number of antibodies and thereby increase the chances of finding a compatible kidney.